Sgt. Shaked Dahan, 19, from Afula, was killed by Hamas terrorists on October 7 and his body dragged into Gaza and held captive.
For more than six weeks he was considered a Hamas hostage, until the IDF declared his death on November 28, officially listing his status as a “fallen IDF soldier held captive by a terror group.”
He is survived by his parents, Sigalit and Shimon, and siblings Omri, Eden, Tomer and Ido.
He was remembered by friends and family for his guitar playing, love of soccer, being a fan of Maccabi Haifa and enjoying spending time with his family.
Dahan, who was a soldier in the IDF’s 7th Armored Brigade’s 77th Battalion serving at the Nir Oz base, was part of the team who tried to fight back and repel the Hamas invasion early that Saturday morning.
His family was told that while his death was corroborated by intelligence findings, a funeral could not yet be held under Jewish law.
Sigalit Gal, his mother, stated that she would not observe the traditional seven-day Jewish mourning period until her son’s body is returned from Gaza.
“I salute you Shaked, my precious love. I fought my whole life to raise you with love, an excellent education, values, a worthy surrounding. I did for you what I needed to as a mother. I managed to keep you safe and protect you in many situations,” wrote Sigalit Gal. “You’ve been taken from me forever. They took you and didn’t bother to return you, not even your body.
“They don’t respect you, don’t respect the family and certainly not the state,” she added. “I’ve decided I will not sit shiva until your body is returned.”
His brother, Tomer Dahan, told Army Radio a day after his death was confirmed that Shaked’s lifelong dream was to defend the State of Israel.
“Shaked was a special kid, a guy whose one wish was to be a fighter in the Israel Defense Forces, no matter where. He achieved that dream, enlisted in the Armored Corps a year and four months ago,” said Tomer. On October 7, Tomer said, Shaked was with the rest of his crew in a tank when the terrorists attacked and he was killed and his body grabbed.
Tomer said his family tried to stay hopeful in the first weeks following the Hamas onslaught, “but as time went by, and as more and more details emerged, the picture started to become clear,” despite many questions remaining.
Shaked’s father, Shimon, eulogized his son in a synagogue near their home the day his death was confirmed, as a funeral could not be held.
“You were straightforward, anchored, honest, loved mankind, a noble soul,” said Shimon tearfully.
He recalled that three days before October 7, he sat down to eat with Shaked, and “he said ‘Dad, I won’t forget to buy your favorite cologne for your birthday, October 12,’ and I said ‘no, don’t bother, it’s too expensive.’ But I understand from your pure and wonderful love, you knew that you wouldn’t forget. My beloved, son, Shaked, you won’t be able to fulfill your love for me.”